InstaLinks : help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions ina your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically
Table of Contents:
GS Paper 1:
- Moscow reminds French Prez Emmanuel Macron of Napoleon’s failed Russian invasion: What’s the history?
GS Paper 2:
- Why does the Centre want to revisit the process for designating senior advocates at Supreme Court, and High Courts?
- Why is China’s stand on Russia and Ukraine raising concerns?
GS Paper 3:
- India, alongside China and US, set to suffer maximum climate impacts on the economy by 2050: Report
- Indian blue economy is thriving but the country needs to be careful about marine litter
Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)
- Jadui Pitara
- Anubhuti Inclusive Park
- Telangana government’s green initiatives
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
- Geomagnetic storm hits Earth
- Privilege panel
- World Social Justice Day
- UN CSocD
- Zaid Campaign-2023
- Sagar Parikrama Phase-III
- North India’s first nuclear plant
Moscow reminds French Prez Emmanuel Macron of Napoleon’s failed Russian invasion: What’s the history?
GS Papers 1
Syllabus: French Revolution, Napoleon’s Invasions
Source: Indian Express
Context: Russia asked French President Emmanuel Macron to remember the fate of Napoleon Bonaparte after he called for Russia’s defeat against Ukraine.
Why did France invade Russia under Napoleon?
- After winning the battle of Friedland in 1807, Napoleon signed the Treaties of Tilsit with Russia’s Tsar Alexander I, which marked the beginning of their alliance.
- The Russians also accepted to become part of Napoleon’s Continental Blockade, which prohibited both neutral parties and French allies from trading with Great Britain.
- However, this caused severe damage to the Russian economy, forcing the Tsar to break the agreement in 1810 and start trading with Britain openly.
- When all the attempts of negotiations failed, Napoleon sent 600,000 of his Grande Armée into
Why did the invasion fail?
- When the Grande Armée reached the Russian territory, the Tsar’s army retreated into the interior regions, compelling the French to cover much longer distances than expected.
- This led to a shortage of food and other supplies. Napoleon’s military strategists also realized that restocking was a daunting task in Russia because it had a poor road network.
- Russian soldiers, who adopted “a scorched earth policy of destroying everything possible as they retreated before the French”, made food scarcity worse.
- As a result, Napoleon’s troops started to suffer from hunger, fatigue and diseases like typhus and diarrhoea.
- After the Tsar refused to respond to any of Napoleon’s proposed negotiations for weeks, the French emperor begrudgingly ordered his men to return.
- But the French weren’t prepared to face the bone-chilling cold of Russia and the situation spiralled out of control. When temperatures fell to minus 22 degrees Celsius, the soldiers froze to death.
What happened after the invasion?
- Napoleon’s failed conquest of Russia united the rest of Europe against him.
- Known as the War of the Sixth Coalition, the battle concluded with the defeat of Napoleon, who then went into exile.
- He briefly returned to power in France in 1815 but had to abdicate his throne for the second time after he lost the Battle of Waterloo during the War of the Seventh Coalition.
Impact of the French Revolution and Napoleon’s policy on India:
- The French Revolution had a limited impact on India as India was under British colonial rule at that time.
- However, some Indians who were exposed to the ideas of the French Revolution were inspired by the concepts of liberty, equality, and fraternity and started to demand these values in India’s own political landscape.
- Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in 1798 brought the French into direct contact with India, as India was an important trade partner of Egypt at that time.
- Napoleon established trade relations with Indian ports and sent emissaries to the court of Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in South India.
- Napoleon’s support for Tipu Sultan against the British in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798-1799) was short-lived, and Tipu Sultan was defeated by the British.
Mains Link: UPSC 2019
Q. Explain how the foundations of the modern world were laid by the American and French Revolutions.
Why does the Centre want to revisit the process for designating senior advocates at Supreme Court, and High Courts?
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary
Context: The Central government is seeking to change guidelines [issued by the SC after the Indira Jaising vs. Union of India case in 2017] for the designation of senior lawyers.
- Indira Jaising (India’s first woman Senior Advocate) challenged the existing process as “opaque”, “arbitrary” and “fraught with nepotism.”
- The SC (in 2017) decided to lay down guidelines for itself and all HCs on the process of designating senior advocates.
- The SC had acknowledged that the guidelines are not exhaustive and left them open for consideration by this Court.
- An application for modification was filed before the Apex Court in ‘Amar Vivek Aggarwal vs. High Court of Punjab and Haryana’ recently.
The Guidelines to Regulate the Conferment of Designation of Senior Advocates 2018:
- A permanent secretariat that will receive and compile all applications → A Committee for Designation of Senior Advocates empowered with powers of conferment.
- The CJI-chaired committee was to consist of two senior-most SC judges, the Attorney General of India, and a member of the Bar.
- The CJI or any other judge could recommend the name of an advocate for designation.
- Alternatively, advocates could submit their applications, to be evaluated on criteria like 10-20 years of legal practice as an advocate, district judge, or judicial member of an Indian tribunal.
- Once a candidate’s name is approved, it will be forwarded to the Full Court (which can also recall the designation) to decide on the basis of the majority.
- To ensure greater transparency in the process of designating, the system of “voting by secret ballot” is discouraged, except in unavoidable cases.
How were advocates designated before the 2017 ruling?
- The Advocates Act, 1961 [Section 16 (1)] states two classes of advocates – senior advocates and other advocates.
- A senior advocate must be a deserving candidate [standing at the Bar/exceptional competence, contribution to the development of law] in the opinion of the SC or an HC.
- It was the Chief Justice and the judges who designated an advocate as a ‘senior’ advocate.
Why is the Centre trying to modify the guidelines now?
- The current requirements for designation are arbitrary and have resulted in ousting of otherwise eligible candidates.
- The point-based system, which awards 40% weightage to publications, personality and suitability, is subjective, ineffective, and dilutes the esteem and dignity of the honour.
- The application seeks to reinstate the rule of a simple majority by a secret ballot, where the judges can express their views about the suitability of any candidate.
Prelims Links: (UPSC 2022)
With reference to India, consider the following statements:
- Government law officers and legal firms are recognized as advocates, but corporate lawyers and patent attorneys are excluded from recognition as advocates.
- Bar Councils have the power to lay down the rules relating to legal education and recognition of law colleges.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Why is China’s stand on Russia and Ukraine raising concerns?
GS Paper 2
Syllabus: International Relations
Context: After over a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, new concerns are being raised about Beijing’s probable willingness to support Moscow militarily.
- Both pledged their commitment to a “no limits” friendship.
- According to China’s Foreign Ministry, the China-Russia partnership is established on the basis of non-alignment, non-confrontation, and non-targeting of third parties.
China’s position on the Russian war on Ukraine:
- China has refused to criticize Russia.
- Russia was provoked into taking action by NATO’s westward expansion.
- Russian and Chinese forces have held joint military drills since Russia invaded Ukraine.
- At the same time, it insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations must be upheld.
- Thus, China has tried to walk a fine and often contradictory line – presenting itself as a country striving for peace in Ukraine publicly but privately aiding and abetting Russia’s war effort.
Has China provided material support to Russia?
- So far, China’s support for Russia has been rhetorical and political. For example, preventing efforts to condemn Moscow at the UN.
- However, the US has long been concerned that China would provide weapons to Russia.
How has China responded to allegations of providing military aid to Russia?
- According to China’s Foreign Ministry, it has always played a constructive role in the Ukraine conflict by adhering to principles, encouraging peace and promoting talks.
- The US is adding fuel to the fire to take advantage of the opportunity to make profits.
What could happen if China aids Russia?
- Impact on US-China ties: As the USA’s efforts limit Chinese access to the microprocessors and continued challenge to Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, the Chinese military aid to Russia will further deteriorate their ties.
- For China: The most sensitive issue is US support for Taiwan, which is a major customer for US defensive arms.
- For India: As Delhi is already worried about the Russia-China bonding that has emerged in recent years, China’s military aid can increase India’s tensions.
Context: Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea is sparking an increasing number of protests.
● The South China Sea (SCS) is important not just to its littoral countries, it has been a transit point for trade since early medieval times, and contains rich reserves (fisheries, minerals and hydrocarbon).
● The Philippines invoked the dispute settlement mechanism of the UNCLOS (in 2013) to test the legality of China’s ‘nine-dash line’ regarding the disputed Spratlys.
● In response, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague (in 2016) ordered that the line had “no legal basis,” as it violated the Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
● China dismissed the judgment.
● It would seem like the ASEAN nations are aligning themselves with China given their expanding economic relations, there is rising discontent in reality.
India’s relevant options:
● Foreign and security policy in its larger neighbourhood covers the entire Asia-Pacific and extends to the Persian Gulf and West Asia.
● India is the fulcrum of the region between the Suez and Shanghai, between West and East Asia, and between the Mediterranean and the SCS.
● The SCS carries merchandise to and from India and India has a stake in the SCS, just as China has in the Indian Ocean.
● Therefore, India must continue to actively –
○ Pursue its defence diplomacy outreach in the Indo-Pacific region,
○ Increase military training and conduct exercises and exchanges,
○ Extend Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief activities,
○ Share patrolling of the Malacca Strait with the littoral countries, etc.
○ Conclude the Comprehensive Strategic Partnerships with remaining ASEAN nations (Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore).
○ Strengthen the military capacity of the tri-service Andaman and Nicobar Command.
Conclusion: Given the balance of power in the region, more attention should be paid to bilateral conflict resolution and the ongoing development of an ASEAN-wide code of conduct.
Lessons from Russia’s Ukraine war
‘China is using its economic relations and positive trade surplus as tools to develop potential military power status in Asia’, In light of this statement, discuss its impact on India as her neighbour. (UPSC 2017)
Prelims Links: (UPSC 2018)
Consider the following pairs :
|Regions sometimes mentioned in the news||Country|
Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?
- 1, 2 and 3
- 3 and 4 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 2 and 4 only
India, alongside China and US, set to suffer maximum climate impacts on the economy by 2050: Report
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Environment, Conservation
Context: According to a report titled ‘XDI’s Gross Domestic Climate Risk’, the Indian economy is likely to suffer alongside China and the US due to climatic impacts.
About the report:
- It has been prepared by XDI (The Cross Dependency Initiative) – an independent specialist established in 2006.
- It predicts damage to the built environment from extreme weather (flooding, forest fires) and climate change (sea level rise) and also identifies which jurisdictions see the greatest escalation of damage from 1990 to 2050.
- It shows that 14 Indian states are set to remain within the top 100 most climate-risk-prone territories of the world by 2050.
- Bihar (followed by UP and Assam) is set to be the most climate-vulnerable region in India by 2050.
- Assam is the most vulnerable region in India in terms of the increase of climatic impacts during 1990-2050.
- Two of China’s largest sub-national economies (Jiangsu and Shandong) are in first and second place.
- After China, the US has the most high-risk states with 18 states in the top 100, with Florida being the highest-ranking US state.
- Other globally significant economic hubs in the top 100 include Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Taiwan and Mumbai.
- Southeast Asia experiences the greatest escalation in damage from 1990 to 2050 anywhere in the world.
Significance of the report:
- This is the first physical climate risk analysis focused exclusively on the built environment, comparing every state, province and territory in the world.
- It will help investors and project developers to plan accordingly.
- Scientists and experts need to get together, understand and find solutions to mitigate/adapt to risks posed by climate change.
- There is a need to protect blue and green infrastructure as the window of opportunity according to the IPCC report is about 15-20 years.
Conclusion: As the global temperature is expected to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050, the risk is going to compound for some of these cities ranked in the report. Therefore, sustainable development through renewable energy transition is unavoidable.
Himalayan plunder: 3 million Indians live in areas that can be swept by glacial lake floods, says study
Indian blue economy is thriving but the country needs to be careful about marine litter
GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Environment Conservation
Context: India has been leading the blue economy discourse at the highest level with its geographic and geostrategic position, putting greater focus on the Indian Ocean region but abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear is a serious threat worldwide.
About Blue Economy:
Blue economy refers to a wide range of economic activities pertaining to the sustainable development of resources and possessions in the oceans, connecting rivers, water bodies and coastal regions with a focus on equity, inclusion, innovation and modern technology.
Advantages of coastal India hold for the blue economy:
- Global producer of Fish
- Presence of Poly Metallic Nodules – PMNs
- Sea Trade – Currently 95% of India’s trade volume transits by sea and the total capacity of all the Indian Ports was 2562.85 MTPA in 2021.
- Boosting Domestic and Regional Trade
- Promoting the spirit of ‘SAGAR-Security and Growth for All in the Region’ in the Indian Ocean Region.
- Sagarmala Project
- Coastal Economic Zones
- Resource exploration: India in recent times has shifted its focus toward Indian Ocean resource exploration. E.g. India has explored 75000 sq km of Indian Ocean Seabed and is developing technologies (like remotely operated vehicles) for mining the resources.
- Matsya Sampada Yojana
- International relations and security
Sustainable measures are needed to realize the blue economy potential:
- Minimizing the impact of fishing on the environment involves using sustainable fishing methods, reducing bycatch, and protecting habitats from destruction.
- Capacity development of coastal communities
- Anticipating and adapting to the impacts of climate change
- The effective implementation of the UNCLOS
Content for Mains Enrichment (CME)
‘Jadui Pitara’ -a play-based learning-teaching material tailored for children between the age group of 3-8 years
- Developed under the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (part of the implementation of the New Education Policy 2020)
- Available in 13 Indian languages
- Includes playbooks, toys, puzzles, posters, flashcards, storybooks, and worksheets that reflect local culture and social contexts.
- Accommodate the diverse needs of learners and pique curiosity
- Making the learning-teaching environment more child-centric, lively, and joyful
Usage: This example can be used in Governance, Social justice, and Ethics (case study) as a unique example of a child-centric foundational literacy initiative
Anubhuti Inclusive Park
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways laid the Foundation Stone of the world’s largest and unique Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
Features of the park: Facilities for all 21 types of disabilities, such as a touch and smell garden, hydrotherapy unit, water therapy, and independent room for mentally challenged children, and mothers.
Vision: To build an inclusive society, with the aim of showing empathy instead of sympathy towards persons with disabilities. to give the disabled the right to live with dignity.
Usage: This can be used as an example in social justice, Indian society and Ethics paper. The park aims to set an example of empathy, respect and dignity towards people with disabilities, while also catering to the needs of the general public and different age groups.
Telangana government’s green initiatives
Telangana Ku Haritha Hāram (the green garland of Telangana): Telangana has replanted 9.65 lakh acres (in 2022), 13 lakh acres of forest have been “rejuvenated” and it has developed 109 urban forests.
- Hyderabad city won Arbor Day Foundation’s ‘Tree City of the World’
- Hyderabad won ‘World Green City’ by the International Association of Horticulture Producers (IAHP)
- Hyderabad city hosts the country’s largest Miyawaki forest
- Environmental advocates say they have seen the steady loss of tree cover. E.g. the cutting and translocation of trees for the Hyderabad E-Prix have also illustrated the conflict between green initiatives and so-called development.
- Encroachments into forest lands by the indigenous people
“Hyderabad City is demonstrating leadership in the management of its urban trees through efforts to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees, development of urban and peri-urban forestry actions, and commitment to building a healthy city now and for the future”- Arbor Foundation
Usage: This can be used as an example in Environment/Governance case study/ Geography questions, as well as, in ethics papers (balancing urban development Vs Environment).
- The example also suggests that it is possible to achieve urban growth and expand green cover simultaneously
Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Geomagnetic storm hits Earth
Context: As per a recent report, the solar wind passed through a gap in the Earth’s magnetic field. The report stated, sparking a G1-class geomagnetic storm
What are Geomagnetic storms?
A geomagnetic storm (magnetic storm) is a temporary disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere caused by a solar wind shock wave that interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field
- The magnetosphere shields Earth from harmful solar particle radiation, as well as erosion of the atmosphere by the solar wind
Reason: These storms are generally associated with solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) where a billion tons or so of plasma from the sun, with its embedded magnetic field, arrives at Earth.
- CMEs are large ejections of plasma and magnetic fields that originate from the Sun’s corona (outermost layer).
Impact on Earth:
- Impact space weather innear-Earth space and the upper atmosphere.
- Impact satellites, GPS, Radio communication: E.g. last year (2022), over 40 Starlink satellites stopped functioning after a solar storm
- Can create disturbances in the magnetosphere, the protective shield surrounding the Earth results in the formation of bright auroras
- Astronauts on spacewalks face health risks from possible exposure to solar radiation outside the Earth’s protective atmosphere.
Context: Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar has asked a parliamentary committee to investigate the alleged breach of privilege by 12 MPs for repeatedly entering the well of the House, shouting slogans and obstructing its proceedings.
- The main articles of India’s Constitution dealing with the privileges of Parliament are 105 and 122, and the corresponding articles for the states are 194 and 212.
- There is a motion named ‘Privilege Motion‘ used to censure a minister for the breach of parliamentary privilege.
To know about Parliamentary Privileges: Click here
About Privilege Panel:
It is a committee called the ‘Committee of Privileges’ (semi-judicial).
- Objective: It is responsible for examining the privileges’ breach.
- Members: There are 15 members in the committee of privileges for Lok Sabha while there are 10 members for the same committee in Rajya Sabha.
World Social Justice Day
Context: Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities celebrated World Social Justice Day (20th Feb)
What is Social Justice?
Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities. Social workers aim to open the doors of access and opportunity for everyone, particularly those in greatest need.
Which one of the following factors constitutes the best safeguard of liberty in a liberal democracy? (UPSC 2021)
(a) A committed judiciary
(b) Centralization of powers
(c) Elected government
(d) Separation of powers
Democracy’s superior virtue lies in the fact that it calls into activity (UPSC 2017)
(a) the intelligence and character of ordinary men and women.
(b) the methods for strengthening executive leadership.
(c) a superior individual with dynamism and vision.
(d) a band of dedicated party workers.
Context: The UN Commission for Social Development has elected India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj as its chair for the 62nd session.
What is UN CSocD?
UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) (est. 1946, HQ: New York) is one of the 9 functional commissions of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
It advises ECOSOC on social policies.
- It follows up with the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action (1995)
- At World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen) Governments reached a new consensus on the need to put people at the centre of development
It is one of the 6 principal organs of the United Nations, established in 1945. It is responsible for coordinating the economic and social fields of the organization. It has 54 members.
Context: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister chaired the National Conference on Agriculture for Zaid (Summer) Campaign-2023 in New Delhi
Various initiatives for agriculture:
- 22 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed (to preserve the fertility of our earth)
- Alternatives to chemical fertilizers, – nano urea, and biofertilizer.
- Cultivation area under organic and natural farming is increasing
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi
- Krishi Vigyan Kendra and ATMA
- The number of Kisan Samridhi Kendras has now increased to 12,000
- PM-PRANAM scheme (to reduce the usage of chemical urea)
- Seed Traceability system (to ensure availability of quality seeds)
- A pesticide Management System will also be implemented.
Ministry of Commerce has introduced additional onsite measures to check irregularities in the certification of organic farming.
Organic foods are certified under the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP, it has been launched under APEDA, under the commerce Ministry) and Participatory Guarantee System for India (PGS-India, Ministry of Agriculture).
Difference between NPOP and PGS?
PGS is based on NPOP standards but is for domestic use only. NPOP standards are recognized by European Commission and Switzerland for unprocessed plant products
India ranks first in the number of organic farmers and ninth in terms of area under organic farming.
Sagar Parikrama Phase-III
Context: Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, starts the Sagar Parikrama Phase-III from Hazira Port (Gujarat)
- Follow-up of Sagar Parikrama Phase-I (March 2022) and Sagar Parikrama Phase-II (September 2022)
Aim of the initiative:
- To disseminate information on various fisheries-related schemes and programs being implemented by the government
- To promote responsible fisheries, protect marine ecosystems, and demonstrate solidarity with all fishermen and concerned stakeholders
- To directly interact with fishers and fish farmers to understand the issues of coastal areas and problems related to fishermen
- Balance the utilization of marine fisheries resources for food security with the protection of marine ecosystems
Collaborations: It is a collaboration between the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, and National Fisheries Development Board
About the Fisheries sector in India:
- India is 3rd largest fish producer (4th largest exporter accounting for over 7% of global fish production) and 2nd largest aquaculture nation in the world after China. This ‘Sunrise Sector’ provides livelihood support directly to about 280 lakh people.
North India’s first nuclear plant
Context: North India’s first nuclear plant will be installed in Haryana’s Gorakhpur
- Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) has two units of 700 MWe capacity each
- Type of Reactor: Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) indigenous design
- TH: Slow progress toward creating a safe workplace for women
- IE: Our languages, our selves (by Venkaiah Naidu)
- Th: Social Media: A ‘democratisation’ that is more a fallacy
- TH: The curious case of the disqualification of a politician (also covered in our Editorial Analysis)
- DTE: A monumental waste: Crores spent on water-related works haven’t readied Jharkhand for droughts; here’s why
- TH: Telangana government’s green initiatives ( already covered in today’s CME)
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